By Rosalinda Sanquiche, Executive Director, Ethical Markets Media
The Henderson-Kay-Schumacher Library housed at Ethical Markets in Saint Augustine, FL, has the privilege of growing a Champion Tree. Champion Trees are the largest individuals a species has to offer. By the easiest metrics, they are the largest (or oldest) trees of a species in a state, region or the world. They have survived pests, extreme weather and human intervention. And still they soar and thrive.
Hazel Henderson, president and founder of Ethical Markets Media (USA and Brazil), attracts luminaries like a trumpet flower calls hummingbirds. During the Ethical Markets spring retreat of like-minded servant leaders, she and Ethical Markets was gifted by Terry Mock, co-founder of the Champion Tree Project International and the Sustainable Land Development Initiative, with the clone of a champion tree – a Lagerstroemia indica or Crape Myrtle. Because of its four climate zones, Florida has more Champion trees than any other state. According to the Florida Forest Service Champion Tree registry, Florida has over 130 national champions, with over 500 listed in categories from national champion to Florida champion to challengers. The mother tree of the Ethical Markets Champion tree, a Florida Champion from Marion County, had a trunk circumference of 64 inches, height of 45 feet and crown spread of 27 feet – amazing in life and now sadly gone.
The demise of magnificent trees in forests all around the world drives the work of organizations such as Archangel Ancient Tree Archive and the Champion Tree Project International. Their goal is to preserve the genetics of the world’s largest and oldest living organisms by cloning exact genetic duplicates of the greatest trees identified around the globe. Beyond preserving champion tree genetics for research, clones are integral to forest restoration. The effort is no less ambitious than to “reforest the world.” One such project is the planting of a Champion Redwood and Sequoia forest, a restoration of an old growth forest near Port Orford, OR. The new year welcomed the start of the project with the first planting on December 4, 2012. This old growth forest restoration is an integral part of an approved forest stewardship plan, growing as a living model of community sustainability initiatives which can profoundly impact a region. The project in Oregon is in an economically depressed area that according to Terry Mock, “is, nonetheless, a rare place on earth where beautiful wild and scenic rivers tumble down steep canyons through the tallest and largest carbon-sequestering forests in the world.”
Whether providing eco-services such as carbon sequestration and filtering and nourishing water as it makes its way to Pacific estuaries, key to fisheries, or whether providing eco-tourism, the value of champion trees is both innate and extrinsic. All too often, the most magnificent of Nature is destroyed rather than modeled. Ethical Markets mission is to reform markets and metrics while helping accelerate and track the transition to the green economy worldwide. With Biomimicry 3.8, Ethical Markets has developed the Principles Of Ethical Biomimicry Finance™ which take the lessons from Nature and applies them to investment. How appropriate to have one of the best living examples of Nature outside our window.
If you are interested in a Champion Tree for your organization, visit the Ancient Tree Archive.
Essential to the rapid growth of clones are air-root-pruning containers which provide for a healthier root structure, more like what happens in nature, available from NurserySupplies.com – Accelerator.